Veterinary Medicine welcomes new dean, establishes new disease center  

Compiled from articles by K-State News and Communications.

K-State selected Dr. Tammy Beckham as its next dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Aug. 2. (Photo: K-State News and Communications)

The College of Veterinary Medicine on the Kansas State University campus has been a busy place this semester: welcoming a new dean, launching the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases, and celebrating renovations to the Veterinary Medical Library. 

Following a national search, K-State selected Dr. Tammy Beckham as its next dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Aug. 2. Beckham succeeds Dr. Ralph Richardson, who has served as the College of Veterinary Medicine’s dean since 1998. Richardson will transition to a faculty position in the college.

Beckham currently serves as the director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in College Station, Texas. Since 2010, she has led the IIAD's efforts to perform research and develop products to defend the nation from high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic diseases.

She said she is looking forward to joining the K-State team and continuing the vet med program’s history of excellence.

"The positive momentum at Kansas State University is very exciting," Beckham said. "I am honored to have been chosen to be the next dean, and I look forward to leading the College of Veterinary Medicine as we leverage that momentum to serve our stakeholders and work to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

Beckham also has served as director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. 

 Center of Excellence established

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Veterinary Medical Library included Director Gayle Willard, first-year class president Dustin Renken, second-year president Chris Eckert, third-year president Shawna Cikanek, fourth-year president Dr. Alyson Post and Dean Dr. Ralph Richardson. (Photo: Joe Montgomery)
In addition to welcoming Beckam, the college established a new center of excellence that will focus on helping to control infectious diseases in both humans and animals. 

On April 8, the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases was publicly launched under the guidance of Dr. Roman Ganta, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. The center is an interdisciplinary research center with a mission to combat vector-borne diseases with a focus on pathogenesis, surveillance and disease prevention.

Goals of the center include establishing a tick-rearing facility to support the research needs of Kansas State University and other academic institutions and industry in the U.S.; producing programs to prepare future generations of scientists with expertise on vector-borne diseases; offering continuing education workshops; and developing resources, such as a repository to maintain culture stocks of vector-borne pathogens.

 Veterinary Medical Library renovations complete

The college celebrated the completion of renovations to the Veterinary Medical Library with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony April 24. The old library was demolished last summer to make way for the $1.5 million renovation, which involved all areas of the library, including the Quiet Room/Stacks area and the 24/7 Room.

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